Discover Sapa - Hanoi
The people that flock to Sapa are interested in hiking, panoramic views and a taste of mountain life. Sapa is famous for the rugged scenery and rich cultural diversity, being a town that lies in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range near the Chinese border. It’s the home of many hill tribes, rice terraces, vegetation and the highest peak in Vietnam, called Fansipan. Trip Guru highly recommends Sapa as the place to be if you’re the sort that loves going for long hikes and desires to see what local life in the mountains is like.
Many ethnic minorities live around Sapa, and the older women create ethnic-style clothing and blankets to sell to tourists. By spending time visiting their villages, travelers can understand their culture and even experience a little bit by helping the locals with farm work. You can also learn more about their life stories in this manner, though bear in mind that some of the minorities do not wish to have their pictures taken—so make sure to ask permission beforehand. You can also challenge yourself physically by hiking—the entire district is completely dominated by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range. The trek, while challenging is ultimately rewarding when you get to experience the unique panoramic views of the beautiful vista.
And to feed the budding gourmet, Sapa has a wide range of vegetable dishes like white cauliflower, red beets and chayote. People also tend to barbecue meat and fish with mushrooms and vegetables, grill corn, sweet potatoes, dumplings and bamboo-tube rice. And you can even find Western-style restaurants around the center of Sapa, for a very reasonable price. The best time to visit, if you truly wish to see the rich emeralds of the scenery is in August, as this is also the time when it rains. The reason why people love the scenery so much is because it represents a peaceful relationship between the mountain tribes and nature.
To get to Sapa, catch a minibus in Lao Cai—they leave from the train station all throughout the daylight hours, with the entire trip taking an hour. You can also go to the Lai Chau bus station, where there are several departures per day to Lao Cai from 6:00am to 4:00pm, and this takes three hours. The bus stops in Sapa.